samsung

In the United States there is one carrier that seems to get more Windows Phone devices than the others. And that’s because they do. AT&T has had more Windows Phone devices in the past three years that T-Mobile, Verizon or Sprint. They’re rumored to be getting the upcoming Nokia Lumia 1520, but they might have another device on the horizon. But this one doesn’t come from Nokia, it comes from Samsung.

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Samsung has released two updates for its apps located in the Samsung Zone section of the Windows Phone store. Mini Diary and Photo Editor have both been bumped to new versions, though we're not entirely sure what's new. It's good to see the OEM continuing to support its Windows Phone customers with further updates, even with the Microsoft and Nokia deal in the air.

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Ben Thompson of stratēchery joins Rene to talk about Microsoft in a post-Ballmer mobile market, the IBM analogy, whether they need to be more like Apple, and why Google and Samsung were so damn smart. Also: Nokia sale!

Note: This was originally supposed to be next week's episode of Vector, but due to Microsoft buying Nokia, we decided to fast-track. (It's especially interesting given Thompson, until recently, worked at Microsoft on the Windows 8 apps team, and previously interned at Apple on the Apple University project.)

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The Samsung ATIV S is a premium smartphone running Windows Phone, but it's currently on sale at Expansys UK. Available for just £199, this is an absolute bargain for anyone who's looking for a new Windows Phone. It's the perfect time to get cracking with Samsung too as the manufacturer has started releasing regular updates for exclusive apps, as well as releasing new solutions.

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It was only the other day when we looked at Sprint announcing the Samsung ATIV S Neo, stating the Windows Phone would be available Friday 16th. Today's the day and the handset is now listed on the Sprint website, available for order. Priced at $149.99 with a 2-year agreement (new line or eligible upgrade), the Samsung ATIV S Neo brings a premium experience to the US network.

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Samsung has been an extremely odd egg in the Windows Phone basket. The company appears to be fighting an internal struggle between two sides - one wishes to drop Windows Phone while the other becomes mildly excited when Live Tiles are in sight. Now rumours are floating around the Internet that Samsung is indeed making another Windows Phone, codenamed the SGH-I187.

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So far the Nokia Lumia 520 has been a sleeper hit. It’s the cheapest Windows Phone to date and it is constantly topping charts for in emerging markets. It seems we hear stories weekly on how the device is selling well in market after market. Here in the United States it’s available for AT&T as a GoPhone and T-Mobile sells a variant called the Lumia 521.

So how’s it going to fare against further attacks in the low-end smartphone market against competitors like Samsung and Apple?

Over at Forbes, Tero Kuittinen outlines a brinkmanship scenario where Nokia comes out on top. Don’t worry, I wasn’t familiar with the term either. Brinkmanship is the situation where you push dangerous events to the verge of disaster in the hopes that your opponents will have to make concessions and/or back down. In this case, Nokia is in a position to own the low-end smartphone market because companies like HTC, Blackberry, and Apple won’t be able to make appealing devices at low prices.

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Yesterday we brought you the news of a new Body Glove case for the upcoming Sprint ATIV S Neo from Samsung that was appearing in Sprint stores. While in and of itself that news is not exciting, it did hint that an official release of the phone was close.

Today, things are moving even more as Samsung has listed the phone on their official site with the full specifications. As far as we know (and we could be wrong), this device page is new and it does confirm a few lingering questions. For one, the ATIV S Neo does have 16GB of internal storage and not 8GB as reported earlier. Combined with the up-to 64GB of expandable storage, the Neo should satisfy most users.

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Say what you will about Samsung, but it looks like they’re finally sinking some money and resources into delivering quality apps for their users. Today, the Korean company has pushed out three new camera apps, which are all variations on a theme, but are still fun to use.

The three apps, Artistic Effect, Fun Shot and Color Effect, are all Lenses that can be launched to give live filters for your camera. The apps themselves are all designed around the same UI, though each comes with a dozen or so uniquely themed filters. While that may seem redundant, it’s actually a smart move as it means you have less scrolling to do when selecting your filter. Not to mention, not everyone needs Fun Shot, which makes your images distorted for goofy results.

Here is the breakdown of the three new camera apps...

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It looks like those in Poland will be getting a new Windows Phone to choose from come September as evidently the ATIV S from Samsung is headed to market. The phone, like the Sprint ATIV S Neo, is expected to be a minor refresh, possibly sporting a new chipset to support FM radio, Bluetooth 4.0 and OS build 10327 (GDR2).

The news comes via Samsung’s own Twitter account for the Polish market (Samsung Polska) and while pricing was not given, nor any updated specifications (if any), the time-frame of September 20th and the ATIV S model name was.

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It was just yesterday that people in Canada on Bell, Telus or Rogers who also owned the under-rated (and underappreciated) Samsung ATIV S were greeted with a double OS and firmware update, bringing their phones up to the coveted GDR2 status (OS build 10327).

Of course it was later revealed that some features like FM Radio (which may not be supported by the hardware) and the ability to set a pre-defined camera app were missing. Still, the additional bug fixes in GDR2 are nothing to shy away from, including the reduction in the size of Other Storage or the .WAV file support in email.

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While Nokia fans get a lot of attention today, those on Bell and Telus up north are reportedly getting Windows Phone 8 GDR2 as well, starting now. We reported a few days ago that Bell would start pushing out the update today and sure enough, it is live. Likewise, those on Telus and Rogers who have an ATIV S can also check for an update too, delivering a happy surprise for those customers.

The update will bump both the OS 8.0.10327.77 and your firmware to 2212.13.6.1, though users are reporting mixed results in terms of any new features.

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It was only back in June when Samsung announced a refresh to some of their Windows 8 devices, including the ATIV Tab 3, which takes their previous 11.6 inch ATIV tablet down to a more nimble 10.1 inch format.

The 32-bit Windows 8 device features a 1366x768 display with an 1.8 GHz Atom Z2760, along with 2GB of RAM and 64GB of on board storage (expandable with microSD). The device also become a smidge thinner and more refined in design, adding a metal band around the edge for a more premium feel.

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Samsung appears to be on a roll, either that or something is certainly in the air. It was only yesterday when we covered MangaCamera and Paper Artist and the manufacturer has released two more apps for its Samsung Zone collection of Windows Phone content. Offering consumers more exclusive apps is definitely something we're beginning to enjoy seeing from Samsung.

So what are these new apps? App Folder and Video Trimmer. Head past the break for a quick summary and download links. Just as before, these apps are Windows Phone 8 only and require a Samsung ATIV Windows Phone.

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Bell Mobility is rolling out the GDR2 update to their Samsung ATIV S Windows Phone. A leaked internal document from the Canadian wireless provider notes the update will improve battery life, add Data Sense, improve the camera and photo viewer, as well as improvements to the Maps application, SMS and Bluetooth performance.

If you are a Bell Mobility customer sporting the ATIV S, you should see the update notification by August 5th. Not sure if you can use the "check for updates" feature in the Settings and see it sooner but it's worth a try.

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Samsung is an interesting Windows Phone OEM and has shown support for Microsoft and its mobile platform, as well as proving to be distant enough to focus on its Android products. Today we've learnt of two new exclusive apps the company has released for its Windows Phone hardware. MangaCamera and Paper Artist are now available for those who own Samsung Windows Phones.

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Samsung has released a number of updates for its collection of apps on Windows Phone. The manufacturer has an array of apps for consumers to enjoy in the Samsung Zone, which can be accessed from the Windows Phone Store main menu. Unfortunately no change logs have been supplied so we're not entirely sure what's new. That said, it's good to see Samsung continuing to support customers.

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